Monday, February 20, 2012

Milk Does(n't) the Body Good!

We are told that cows milk is mother natures most perfect food. I couldn’t agree more. It is the most perfect food… for a new born calf. Personally, I think there is no excuse for drinking any sort of dairy milk. Like humans cows do not lactate naturally, people!

However, four recent studies suggest other reasons to avoid dairy besides for animal welfare reasons. 

Back in 2007 this study helped to show that adding cows milk to black tea blocks the human digestive system from absorbing the benefits of the tea. Most teas are very high in antioxidants and vitamins, essentially you’re drinking the goodness of dark leafy greens! However, so complete was the negative effect that when adding cows milk to black tea it completely blunted any benefits of drinking the tea. Perhaps you should learn to like your tea the way you like your men! Or something to that affect.

A year later, a study found when blackberry juice is prepared with defatted milk that there was no increase of ellagic acid absorbed into the blood. Ellagic acid is an antioxidant found to be chemoprotective and also has the ability to reduce blood pressure and as well as to reverse artery wall thickness. Absorption of ellagic acid plasma greatly increased when the blackberry juice was made with water instead.

Then two big studies came out in 2009 that helped to show two things: one that berries are powerful antioxidants with multiple health benefits including helping to reverse brain-function decline due to age; and two that consuming berries with dairy nearly blocks all of the healthy properties of eating the berries. For instance adding fresh strawberries to cereal is always a great idea; however, when you are using cows milk in your cereal, you will block any benefits of eating the strawberries. 

While these four studies all involve relatively small sample sizes, they do suggest that consuming dairy milk may defeat the purpose of consuming other healthy foods with them and force use to wonder what   other negative affects of consuming dairy there are. Perhaps there is a reason why other species do not naturally consume milk past infancy or from a different species. Besides blocking antioxidants from being absorbed into your bloodstream, cows milk is fatty and has high levels of cholesterol. Both are related to heart disease, which is currently America’s greatest killer. While I am not a registered dietitian, I would advise leaving cows milk for the calfs and choosing a more compassionate and healthful alternative such as unsweetened almond milk or sunflower milk! 



  1. I'm sorry I can't post it here (can't find it), but I once read an incredible article on why no self-respecting female, or male respectful of females, should consume cowsmilk as it is a severe feminist issue on top of everything else. The bottom line is that the dairy industry is so intrinsically linked with the meat industry that any attempt to delineate is moot.

    "Perhaps you should learn to like your tea the way you like your men!" Strong? Dark? "High in antioxidants and vitamins"?

  2. is it this article?

    1. No; it came out around Mother's Day and it was specific to the heartwrenching experience of the mother cow and how all women should relate. I'll keep looking!

  3. I know some VERY compassionate dairy farmers. I've seen the cows happily walk into the milking parlor and then when they are done back out to their yummy green pastures. Definitely not the norm, but it does exist. And as nursing mom of a 3.5 year old AND a 5 month old, I can tell you, lactating ain't all that bad;-)

    1. Odin and Bjorn,
      I'm so happy to hear you attest that "lactating ain't all that bad", but I suppose that's easy to say when you are not forced into perpetual pregnancy and living a life hooked up to a milking machine.

      I'm also pretty sure that you didn't give birth standing in a pen, unable to turn around, with no other choice but to urinate and defecate on your own newborn.

      You also don't run the risk of having your children stolen from you at birth, kept in conditions that are not geared towards their own welfare, but rather how tender their flesh will be when cooked.

      To flippantly compare human lactation to the fate endured by most cows in the dairy industry is extremely irresponsible. Not to mention that the reality of idyllic, bucolic dairy farms are nothing more than a lie perpetuated by the massive dairy industry, whose cows see neither compassion or green pastures.

      As for the "VERY compassionate dairy farmers" you speak of, even if we assume that's true, these are still people who are using animals as commodities and will ultimately kill them. Would it be alright for you to kill your pets for food so long as you were "VERY compassionate" to them while you still considered them your pet?

      I also can't help but to point out that your naive insistence that not all cows suffer a horrific existence sounds much like the supporters of slavery who were quick to brag about how well some slaves were treated.

      The bottom line is that living beings- human or otherwise- are not on this planet for use by others.

    2. Did those "VERY compassionate" farmers keep the male calves? Or sell them for veal/meat? Do the mother cows get to keep their female and/or male babies with them? Are they put into retirement in grassy fields and never killed?

      No. Then we aren't even approaching compassionate. Compassion isn't using animals "nicely" and abusing them "with respect", it's giving their needs consideration. No cows need to be perpetually pregnant, have their calves taken and milk stolen. And yes, it's stolen. We take away their babies and then take that milk meant for them and sell it to people who don't need it.

      Cow/goat/buffalo/etc. milk is made for babies of those species. Period.

    3. If we throw out the morality question, we are still left with the point of this post: is cows milk healthy to drink? If these four studies are right, than no, it is not.

      It may also help explain why President Zachary Taylor died- cherries and milk!

  4. I admire the passion you guys have for your food beliefs! I have my own passionate food beliefs...clearly a bit different.

    Ant, about health...I don't is something I've been mulling around in my head but haven't come up with an answer yet. But for our family we drink raw milk from a local dairy farmer where the mom births outside and the babies stay with her. Yes, he does sell the boys as veal, but they are never pinned up and only eat a diet of grass (no grain for these cows). How do I know this? I visit the farm to pick up the milk!

    I'm guessing the studies you've summarized are all based on pasteurized cow milk and yes, I'd agree, that stuff is crap.

    1. To be clear, veganism isn't a food belief; it's a compassionate attitude towards all living beings.